A Table of the Condensation of the Air. Results of an experiment by Boyle using a U-shaped tube with unequal legs, sealed at the end of the shorter leg, then gradually filled with mercury. Boyle found the volume of air trapped below the seal became progressively less as the presure of the mercury increased. The table shows how his experimental results agreed closely with his theoretical law, Boyle's law, that volume is inversely proportional to the pressure. Page from New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, touching The Spring of the Air by Robert Boyle (London, 1682). Robert Boyle (16271691) Irish born chemist and physicist.
British; English; Navy; Mutiny; Botany; Art; eighteenth century; 18th century
'The mutineers turning Lieut Bligh and part of the officers and crew adrift from his Majesty's ship the Bounty', 1790. William Bligh (1754-1817) and 18 companions, cast adrift by the mutineers led by Fletcher Christian, survived a 4,000 journey in the open boat from 18 April to 14 June when they landed on East Timor. The purpose of the 'Bounty's' voyage was to take Breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies to provide cheap food for slaves. Two Breadfruit plants are shown on 'Bounty'. Engraving.
Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London, England. Building designed by Joseph Paxton (1801-1865), English gardener and architect, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Oleograph by George Baxter (1804-1858).
Before the Election'. Smartly dressed candidate shaking hands with with working men who are thanking him for the drinks he has bought for them. From 'Le Petit Journal', Paris, 2 September 1893. Politician, Politics, Voter, Bribery
'The End of the Battle'. Sioux warriors leading away captured horses after defeating the American army under George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) at the Battle of ittle Bighorn, Montana, known as Custer's Last Stand when he and his 264 men were killed. Painting c1900 by Amos Bad Heart Buffalo.
named after the HUER, an important figure in the pilchard indutry in victorian times. the HUER would watch the sea for the pilchard shoals to arrive and notify the local fishermen using furze brushes as flags. he would then direct them to the shoals using the flags.
A dissection in progress. From Le livre de la propriete des choses (On the Properites of Things) written by the English Franciscan monk Bartholomew Glanville, called Bartolomaeus Anglicus, c1230-1240 and translated by Jean Corbechon in 1372. Woodcut from printed edition c1520.
Static electric effects. Chain receiving a charge from a glass globe static electric machine is attached to the waist of the man standing insulated on a block of wax. He becomes 'charged' and his hands attract pieces of paper and small objects. From Recherches sur les Causes Particulaires des Phenomenes Electriques by Abbe Nollet (Paris, 1753). Engraving.
March. Astrological sign of Aries, the Ram. From the Bedford Hours, French 15th century illuminated manuscript. The wealth of England depended greatly upon the wool from its flocks of sheep and on the cloth woven fromtheir fleeces.
Thomas Telford's suspension bridge over the Menai Straits, Wales, built 1820-1826. The original timber deck was wrecked in a storm, 1839. In 1940 the chains were renewed with high tensile steel. Part of London to Holyhead road carrying mails between Dublin and London. Hand-coloured engraving.
WW Jacobs. Wiliam Wymark Jacobs (1863-1943) English writer, born at Wapping, London, best remembered for his short stories which ranged from the humorous to the macabre such as The Monkey's Paw. Cartoon by Will Owen (1869-1957) published 1902.
Cover of catalogue of Manufrance (Manufacture Francaise d'Armes et Cycles), Saint Etienne, c1920. Man and woman cycling by the river Loire waving to swimmers and canoeists. Transport, Recreation France
Roman soldiers using two forms of battering ram against the walls of a fortress. A, in the foreground, is the simple form resting on the men's shoulders, while the one at B is hung on a chain hanging from a frame, so enabling the men to concentrate their strength on thrusting the battering ram forward. From Poliorceticon sive de machinis tormentis telis by Justus Lipsius (Joost Lips) (Antwerp, 1605). Engraving.
Draining mine workings with a bank of three suction pumps. As the men turn the shaft the cams, B, connect with tappets. A, on the piston rods, C. From De re metallica, by Agricola, pseudonym of Georg Bauer (Basle, 1556). Woodcut.
A rag-and-chain pump powered by an overshot water wheel being used to drain a mine. On the right is a detail of the tube of the pump. From De re metallica, by Agricola, pseudonym of Georg Bauer (Basle, 1556). Woodcut.
Purification of silver in a muffle furnace. From 1683 English edition of Lazarus Ercker Beschreibung allerfurnemisten mineralischen Ertzt- und Berckwercksarten originally published in Prague in 1574. Copperplate engraving.
Recovery of gold from amalgum. 7) chamois leather bag for separating amalgum from excess mercury. 6) Operator with wooden pestel and mortar for purifying mercury with salt. 4,5) Earthenware and iron retorts for distilling mercury from amalgum. From 1683 English edition of Lazarus Ercker Beschreibung allerfurnemisten mineralischen Ertzt- und Berckwercksarten originally published in Prague in 1574. Copperplate engraving.
Distillation of alcohol (aqua vitae). Distillation took place in an alembic set over a furnace. The distillate was discharged through spout into a 'work' in a bath of cold water and was collected in the vessel at the left. From De la pirotechnia by Vannoccio Biringuccio (Venice, 1540).
Tycho Brahe holding a sextant. Engraving from his Historia Coelestis (1666). Tycho Brahe (Tyge Ottesen Brahe - 1546-1601) Danish astronomer, astrologer and alchemist who built astronomical instruments which enabled him to make the most accurate observations of his time.
Military; Army; Mechanisation; Armour; Conflict; Europe; France; Britain; First World War; Tank; Warfare; Twentieth century; 20th century
Himmel! The All-Highest has the truth spoken - the worst is behind us'. German infantry retreating in panic before Allied infantry supported by tanks. World War I cartoon from 'Punch', London, 21 August 1918.
Britain; Government; Politics; Suffrage; Vote; Democracy; 19th century; Nineteenth century
The Charter - a Common Scene': The Anti-Chartist idea of the House of Commons in 1943 if suffrage was enlarged. Cap of Liberty is attached to Speaker's chair. 1843 cartoon by George Cruikshank. Chartism, a movement for social and political reform took its name from The People's Charter of 1838.
The London Institution, Finsbury Circus, founded in 1805 'for the advancement of literature and the diffusion of useful and polite knowledge'. Building opened 1819. Plate dedicated to Professor John Millington (1779-1868) who lectured on mechanics there
Britain; England; Agriculture; Smallholding; Idealism; Failure; 19th century; Nineteenth century
Snig's End, Gloucestershire, where Feargus O'Connor set up a Chartist Land Scheme where allotments of 2 acres and a cottage were made. From 'The Illustrated London News', February 1850. Chartism, a movement for social and political reform took its name from The People's Charter of 1838.
Observations of sunspots, May 1644. On right is a large spot which is shown in a series of successive positions due to the Sun's rotation. From Selenographia by Johannes Hevelius (Gedani, Gdansk, Danzig, 1647). Engraving.
Britain; Agriculture; Grain; Food; Labourer; Agricultural; Power; Animal; Season
Winter ploughing with horses. The man leading the horse is wearing a smock, a traditional agricultural worker's garment. Kronheim chromolithograph from Pictures from Nature by Mary Howitt (London, 1869).
A Pyrotechnist or Firework-maker making a rocket. He is pulling the end of a rocket case very tightly so that it will take the explosive charge properly. From A Rich Cabinet, with Variety of Inventions by John White (London, 1658).
Victorian Christmas greeting card published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner showing that carol singers are not always welcome. street musicians, banjo, fiddle, violin, street singers, bat, snow, winter, caterwauling, pour cold water on,
A set of 24 touch needles. These were made of the purest obtainable gold and each was alloyed with different known amounts of silver and copper, or of both. The sample of gold to be tested was rubbed on a hard dark stone, and the colour and thickness of the trace left was matched by one of the touch needs and the value of the sample obtained. From De re metallica, by Agricola, pseudonym of Georg Bauer (Basle, 1556). Woodcut.
Bird Catching from Below'. Catchers were helped up the cliffs by colleagues in rowing boats. Birds and eggs were a great economic resource for the Shetland Islanders. Aquatint after JH Clarke from Foreign Field Sports, Edward Orme, (London, 1813)
Idea for a video-phone using neon tubes to give the picture display. Illustration of a system proposed by Herbert Eugene Ives (1883-1952), American physicist and inventor, who worked at the Bell telephone laboratories on the transmission of mechanical video images. From Le Petit Inventeur. (Paris, c1927).
An Artificer or Pyrotechnist setting light to 'Another fixed Wheele upon a post, which will cast forth many Rockets into the Aire'. From A Rich Cabinet, with Variety of Inventions by John White (London, 1658).
Observers using a refracting telescope of long focal length mounted on a tripod, and fitted with a simple plumb line and scale for measuring the altitude of the object being observed. Engraving from Oculus artificialis teledioptricus sive Telescopium by Johann Zahn (Nuremberg, 1702).
The Railway at Balaklava. From William Simpson Illustrations of the War in the East, London 1855-1856. Tinted lithograph. Unloading supplies from shiping in Balaklava harbour. Crimean War (Russo-Turkish War) 1853-1856.
Double inclined plane for raising tub boats from one level of a canal to another. Detail of the winding mechanism. From A Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation by Robert Fulton (London, 1796). Robert Fulton (1765-1815) American engineer. Engraving.
Aeronautics; Flight; Flying; Ballooning; Aviation; Military
Battle of Fleurus 26 June 1794. French Revolutionary Wars. French defeat of the Austrians, Dutch, and their allies. The first use of a hot air balloon for aerial observation during a battle. French captive balloon 'La Entreprenant' on right. From contemporary copperplate engraving.
A Table of the Rarefication of the Air: Using a glass U-tube and a column of mercury, the volume of air contained in one arm of the tube increased as the length, and so the pressure, of the column of mercury in the other arm was reduced. The change in volume was in accord with the theortical law, Boyle's Law, that volume is inversely proportional to the pressure. Page from New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, touching The Spring of the Air by Robert Boyle (London, 1682). Robert Boyle (1627-1691) Irish born chemist and physicist.
Glass globe static electric machine. Figure 2 shows the wheel of the machine being turned to produce electricity by friction on the glass globe. The other figures are the glass globe and its mounts. From Recherches sur les Causes Particulaires des Phenomenes Electriques by Abbe Nollet (Paris, 1753). Engraving.
Art; Geology; Volcano; Vulcanology; Nineteenth century; 19th century
Mount Fuji seen from Hara Province in Suruga', 1860. Landscape with Mount Fuji, Japan's highest peak dominating the background , forest and lakes, centre. A procession makes its way along the road from the mountain. Coloured woodblock print. Hiroshige II (1829-1869) Japanese artist and printmaker.
Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza (Spinosa or Despinosa) (1632-1677) Dutch philosopher born in Amsterdam into a Jewish family who had fled Roman Catholic persecution in Portugal. Expelled from the Jewish community in 1656 for heresy. Interested in optics, astronomy and theology in addition to philosophy. From Histoire des Philosophes Modernes by Alexandre Saverien (Paris, 1762).
Washing for gold by laying pieces of turf in a frame. Gold-bearing sand is placed in head of the frame at A, water is then allowed to wash over it. Gold collected on the turf at C. The pieces of turf then washed individually at E and the gold recovered. From De re metallica, by Agricola, pseudonym of Georg Bauer (Basle, 1556). Woodcut.
Experiment to ascertain the effects of electricity on plants and animals. High voltage electricity generated by a glass globe static electric machine is carried by the chain to items suspended from silk cords in the centre of the picture. From Recherches sur les Causes Particulaires des Phenomenes Electriques by Abbe Nollet (Paris, 1753). Engraving. .
Cross-section of a mine, showing shaft and galleries at two different levels. In the top left of the picture is prospecting for metals using divining rods (dowsing). From De re metallica, by Agricola, pseudonym of Georg Bauer (Basle, 1556). Woodcut.
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1904) Prussian (German) statesman. Chancellor of new German empire 1866-1890. Gill cartoon published in La Lune Paris 1867 showing Bismarck as cat with mousetrap. Coloured engraving
Lord Rosse's great 72-inch (1.828m) diameter reflecting telescope of 1845, called the Leviathan of Parsonstown. Mounted between two brick walls, it could move only in a north-south direction. The instrument viewed from the south, showing the position of the when a man entered the tube to fix the small speculum and to remove the cover of the large one for the night's work. The Earth's rotation provided movement in an east-west direction. From his paper 'On the Construction of Specula of Six-feet Aperture' in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London, 1849). William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800-1867).